Thursday, April 29, 2010

Round Up Sunday...

Each year the church has something called "round up" Sunday. You are supposed to "round people up" and bring them to church. They also have the kids dress in western wear, have pony rides and jumping houses, and the adults enjoy Bar-B-Q. Those that know my girls, know that they LOVE cowboy boots...but did you know they also like to wear the whole kit and caboodle when the occasion calls for it!


Ann likes red.

Red! Red! Red!
A blue dress, Ann?
I like red said Ann.
Red! Red! Red!
"A red dress instead," said Ann.

These are the first lines to the first book I remember reading. Loved the book. I remembered Ann with her black braids. I remembered her smiling mother. The red dress, belt, shoes and hat she bought on her shopping adventure. I remembered the blue stars on the tag board cover...spine that separated because it was read so many times. And I remembered the title too. It was Bess' Red Dress. Bess likes red...well, its true. That is the exact title I REMEMBERED....which might be why I could NEVER find the darn book. I looked and looked on the internet...and each time it only ended in dissappointment.

Luckily, I'm using Five in a Row as my curriculum with the girls. Some of the books in FIAR have gone out of print. A publisher called Purple House Press republishes some of these lost treasures. I went to their website looking for a specific book, to see when it would be republished (Henry and the Cast Aways if you are wondering) and LO and BEHOLD...there was ANN...Not Bess...But ANN standing in front of a mirror in her black braids, red dress, red belt, her the stars were still in the background. I probably don't need to tell you that I couldn't press the buy button fast enough. It came just a few days later and I can't tell you the joy I had holding it reading it, sharing it with my girls, and then best of all, hearing my sweet Delaney reading it back to me! I am so thankful for FIAR. Im thankful of all the ideas that it has given me to experience with the girls and their education. I'm thankful for its ease and the way that it meshes so well with my philosophy. And now...look what treasure it led me too. Its amazing how God blesses you in big ways and small, and does it in ways you wouldn't have imagined.

P.S. If you love old children's literature and want to take a walk down memory lane, just go to Even if you aren't familiar with won't be let down by these jewels. There is an absolute reason why these books have stood the test of time. And if you don't know where to start...Try Ann likes Red. And if you are beyond Dick and Jane books, try The Blueberry Pie Elf...but don't get it unless you are ready to make some blueberry pie! Its easy...Press buy and enjoy!


This has been an unusual year. I started the year off setting up my library. Its been wonderful not being in rotation. I hated having 40 kids at a time and not having any time to help any of them individually. I even have their teachers in the library with me as well.

I think that is why I was so thrown when I heard they wanted to move all elementary librarians down to 1/2 time. 90% of the time I am the last teacher to leave the building...around 6:30 in the evening... and I leave a pile of work unfinished. All they see is that I check books in, check books out, and read books to the students. Who do they think creates the catalog of books, who organizes the catalog, who researches what books to buy, who creates the orders, who creates a barcode, prints it and puts it on the book exactly one inch from the top of the book, who creates the spine lable and puts it on the spine of a book exactly 1 1/2 inch from the bottom of the book, who puts mylar covers on hardback books, who tapes paperback books, who comes up with creative little displays to entice readers, who plans the lessons, who looks at what the teachers are teaching and makes sure the library can supplement that subject? The list goes on and on...and all of this has to be done OUTSIDE of school hours, because the students are there the other times.

So I am supposed to complete the same amount of work in 1/2 the time. Because not one person has said...Don't worry, you won't have to do ____ anymore. I think it is sad. I know its sappy but I truly believe that if a kid can read and has access to a library, they can learn to do ANYTHING they want to and if that isn't the 1st Amendment in the flesh, then I don't know what is.

You might wonder how it all happened. Well, the school district is in a recession, just like the rest of the country. So they gathered a list together and came up with a list of 10 ideas they could "do" in order to save the district money. We were number 4. LIBRARIES are the 4th least important thing to the district. No one is getting raises...fine with that. They are going to mow the school yards every 10 days, rather than every 7 days...I'm fine with that. They are not going to pay the math and language arts reps extra...fine with that, but good luck in finding someone willing to do the job for free. Libraries are number 4.

I suggested we move the a/c up 2 degrees in the warmer 74 degrees and down 2 degrees in the winger 70 degrees. It would allow people to "dress the weather", teach students to be more frugal in their own homes, be environmentally conscious AND save THOUSANDS of dollars at EVERY CAMPUS. I also thought that we should get rid of the Styrofoam lunch trays and plastic spork packages. Again, it would be more "green" and would save a lot of money. What did they say..."it doesn't save money because they would have to hire another person for dishes. SERIOUSLY??? I looked into these little spork packages. They have a napkin, a spoon and a fork with a nice wasteful plastic wrapper. An SISD emblem is on the wrapper as well. These packages cost .17 cents each. SERIOUSLY! We have 700 students and they virtually all get their lunch here. 87% of them get it for free or close to it. They can't hire someone for less than that savings...and lets not get into the Styrofoam treys.

It just goes to show you...books, literacy, and the ability to have access to both for free isn't as important as people in education would have you believe. Please pray for our libraries.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kaytlynn and Animals...

So we aren't Catholic, but I have a feeling that if we were, Kaytlynn would love St. Francis of Assisi. She has always loved animals. Not a day goes by that she doesn't ask for a dog. She has kept Snails, Ants, Slugs (she has a heart attack each morning that too many snails are on the sidewalk...afraid for their lives). Well, for Spring Break we went to San Antonio. On the way home, we stopped at The Snake Farm, which also has a small little zoo. And even better, a nice little petting zoo. There were brand new pigs...teeny tiny things...llama's, goats, a dog, a bunny, etc. walking all over the fenced in area. All were quite tame and ready for you to pet/hold/feed them. What does Kaytlynn become attached too? A Benny Hen...She wouldn't put the thing down. No one else could even catch the little thing, but she walked around with him for a good 20 minutes completely in love. Now...Delaney, she chose the duck...the one that sat in a huge puddle and wouldn't move. So I'm not going to say she is completely typical either :-)
Delaney smelling all the stinky turtles...She didn't want to spend much time in that room.

She's talented. she can hold her nose and be happy at the same time!

This is Kaytlynn's "Im a pacing Hyena" face. That Hyena paced back and forth the whole time we were there. He seemed a little Cra-za-zy. You have to be happy when feeding a llama!

Daddy and his girls...Notice the boots, did ya? Delaney wanted to hold this duck so badly! It was her very favorite.

Delaney trying to lure the duck out of the puddle with didn't work. It was a content and stubborn duck...not unlike Delaney :-)

And this is the famous Hen!
Don't know why, but I love this pic of both of my girls!

Daydreaming with her hen! She truly thought it was the most beautiful, wonderful creature.

Todd Builds A House...

Todd bought a play set for the backyard. The only have to assemble it yourself. It will have a rock wall, sand box, slide, playhouse, picnic table, lookout deck, monkey bars and 3 swings on it, so I am already positive there will be many happy hours spent on it, but wow...the many hours to assemble it keep multiplying. My dad has even driven down from Dallas a couple of times to help. Here are some pics of what was finished a couple of weeks ago! I will post the completed product...when its finished...whenever that may be! I am so thankful that God blessed me with a man that wants to be a great dad and is willing to give up his time to do it!

Trying to figure out which way is took them HOURS to just inventory the boxes...and yes, there were 2 pieces missing!

Peek-a-Boo! I love her missing teeth in this one!

Having a Ball in her new Home!
Searching For One Another!

Don't you enjoy performing show tunes in a play house in the air?

Two Little Birds...

I found this adorable bird bath at Sam's and had to have it. The girls liked it so much they decided to pretend they were birds taking a bath in it (hence the reason they are stripped to nothing but underwear and a towel. I don't know if I had heard them giggle this much in really entertained them. So forget toys, go buy your kids a bird bath.

Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail...

Easter 2010...The girls woke up congested and stopped up and coughing like crazy, so we didn't go to church, which is absolutely awful. BUT, they did perk up for 5 minutes when they saw what the Easter Bunny left them. Their favorite thing was the sleep masks! I am so very thankful for my babies!

The Largest Slug in the World

I don't know if this really is the largest slug in the world, but it has to be close, right? It showed up on our front door...literally...last week. It literally made me gag, but I mad Todd take a picture of it, because I knew it would fascinate Kaytlynn. It was probably a good thing she was off with my sister at the camp out, because I know it would have been adopted into our home if she had anything to say about it!

My Girls Know How to Milk Sympathy....

My sister called me and asked if Delaney and Kaytlynn could go to Dinosaur State Park with them. I thought it would be a great experience for them, so I asked the girls, they got excited, and off they went.

I met my sister in Fairfield at a Texas Burger. My sister talked the girls into thinking that she had bought this HUGE old house...that looked like it had been vacant for the past 50 years. My girls didn't bat an eye...they were just impressed that it was so big and had such a nice porch and stairs....poor things.

The next day, my sister had all the kids in her minivan headed to camp, when she was rear-ended by another car. It was not a big wreck, but could have been really bad. She said it was so quiet in the van, that you could hear a pin drop. She turned around and said "Is everyone okay". She said the reply was all in chorus together...All at once they all grabbed their heads, their necks, their sides their stomachs and started MOANING and GROANING as loudly as they could..."OHHHH', OWWWWW, OUCH, ACCHHHH, UGHHHH" . The little stinkers!

Luckily no one was hurt...including the elderly passenger of the other car that was using an oxygen tank.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Delaney's Reading!

What an amazing thing to watch your child grow into a reader. It is one of the only big girl activities that doesn't make me sad when I watch, but it does put me in awe!

Delaney is now reading simple text all on her own and does a wonderful job with it! Best of all, she LOVES it! Truly loves it. She is proud of herself and wants to show you just how smart she is.

Now...if we could just have 1/2 of this enthusiasm transfer over to Kaytlynn...She is way more excited about playing Webkinz and watching movies...I know, because she tells me so :-(...Little Stinker!

Order on the Porch!

The girls last night kept saying Order on the Porch in a very authoritative voice. When I went to see what was going on...I realized they were trying to say Order in the Court...too funny!